Wednesday, March 20, 2013
JANUARY 14, 1875 – U.S. CONGRESS PASSES SPECIE RESUMPTION ACT
1875 – U.S. CONGRESS PASSES SPECIE RESUMPTION ACT
Wall Street bankers hated federal Greenbacks (U.S. created debt-free money issued by the administration of Republican President Abraham Lincoln.). They preferred "hard money" or "specie" money (paper money backed by gold), since the major banks controlled most of the nation's gold. Ohio Senator John Sherman (so close was he to the First National Bank of New York that the bank was dubbed "Fort Sherman") was the major advocate of the Specie Resumption Act, passed during the lame-duck controlled Congress (where have we heard that before). The Act legislated the U.S. Treasury to resume the issuance of legal tender notes backed only by gold (Greenbacks were only backed by the faith and credit of the US). The Act also took steps to reduce the amount of Greenbacks in circulation -- a step toward the creation of bank issued debt-money that the government would borrow from them at interest vs using government money without having to pay interest. Farmers and small manufactures opposed the Act, fearful that a contraction of the money supply would lead to a recession or depression. The Act took effect on January 1, 1879. It was a major step toward the re-consolidation of the nation's money supply and economy toward the Money Trust.